Making Birmingham a flood resilient city : challenges and opportunities

Adedeji, Taiwo and Proverbs, David and Xiao, Hong and Cobbing, Paul and Oladokun, Victor (2019) Making Birmingham a flood resilient city : challenges and opportunities. Water, 11 (1699). pp. 1-17. ISSN 2073-4441 (

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The city of Birmingham has experienced a number of significant flooding events in the past two decades. The impacts of these flood events include physical damage to critical infrastructure, as well as significant losses caused by business interruption and general disruption to communities. Human losses and impacts can be life changing. This study identifies the current challenges and opportunities of managing flood risk in the city of Birmingham, drawing on a desk-based account of current flood risk management (FRM) practice and diagnostic evidence. This interrogation adopts the use of a ‘flood resilience circle model’ to consider ways to address the challenges in a methodological manner aligned to an integrated approach to flood risk management. Solutions aligned to the key FRM stages of prevention, preparation, response and recovery are provided. The findings will be of interest to policy makers and decision makers on how to address current weaknesses in FRM practices towards the prospect of a sustainable approach that improves the resilience of the city and delivers multiple benefits. Recommendations made include the adoption of a blue-green systems approach, the development of a new communication strategy aligned to motivating behaviour change, and improved flood forecasting especially for surface water flooding.